Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in art education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keith Huang, Co-Founder and CEO of Sentient Academy, located in Alpine, UT, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Sentient enables anyone in the world to start or further art education right at home. Our users are those who want to become an artist, regardless of the end goals, but can't physically go to art schools. At Sentient, they get to learn from award-winning pro artists at a fraction of the traditional art school costs.

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Taiwan, where pursuing art is not an option. After my military training, I moved to the US, learned how to paint, and started selling portrait commissions in school. Then I got married and had our first child in 2008. Being an artist didn't make ends meet, so I went back to school for my accounting degree and built a career as the Assistant Controller at a tri-property casino company in Mesquite, NV. Long story short, I met my co-founder Bryan Mark Taylor, and his work inspired me to finally quit my Sales Controller at a SaaS company right after we sold it to a 14 billion company.

I wanted to give my three creative children a future and know that it's possible to become artists without sacrificing everything else in life and being poor. So I started Sentient as an accessible way for anyone to get an art school education without taking on a debt that can never be repaid. To me, it is rewarding to know that anyone can still become an artist no matter what they do currently to make a living.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Making it possible for artists in 160+ countries to learn from the professional artists they admire without ruining their lives with debts they will never pay off being artists. Many of them are now making money selling their work with a positive return on their art education investment at Sentient.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Putting your heart and soul into a solution but getting harsh complaints with no realistic solutions from people who just want to take vs. give is the hardest thing. This is how dreams get killed, and the world gets worst. People just come with complaints, not solutions.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find your unfair competitive advantage.
  2. Find the most feasible path to success.
  3. Execute with an open mind to recognize failures and adjust strategy accordingly.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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